Isaiah 61:10 (ESV) … “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
This great passage is a beautiful view of the good news of redemption. Our English word, redemption, is derived from a Latin root meaning “to buy back,” thus meaning the liberation of any possession, object, or person, usually by payment of a ransom. In Greek the root word means “to loose” and so to free. The term is used of freeing from chains, slavery, or prison.
In the theological context of the New Testament, the term “redemption” indicates a freeing from the slavery of sin, the ransom or price paid for freedom. This thought is indicated in the Gospels, which speak of Christ who came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45).
We see three beautiful truths in Isaiah 61:10.
1. The Cheer in Salvation (Isaiah 61:10)
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord” (Isaiah 61:10). Redemption brings rejoicing to the redeemed. This joy they did not know in their unsaved condition. The rejoicing here is not in circumstances but in Christ, for salvation works a dramatic change in a person.
2. The Clothing for Salvation (Isaiah 61:10)
“for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). This work of clothing the sinner is illustrated in how God clothed Adam and Eve after their sin. They had “sewed fig leaves together” (Genesis 3:7) to cover themselves which was not adequate in God’s sight, so he clothed them with “coats of skins” (Genesis 3:21) which pictured salvation in that it required the death of an animal and the shed blood to provide for the salvation covering.
3. The Cosmetics in Salvation (Isaiah 61:10)
“as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). Salvation improves matters. Literally it improves appearance. The lesson is figurative here to show the glory that comes to the redeemed.[i]
With a clear voice Jesus uttered one last word from the cross: tetelestai (John 19:30). Study of the ancient papyri throws great light on this word. If a promissory note were paid, the one holding the note wrote “telelestai” across it. A deed to property was not in effect until it was dated and signed. When this was done, the clerk wrote “tetelestai” across it.
Another example of its use was when a father sent his son on a mission. The son was not to return until he had performed the last act of the mission. When he did return from a successful mission, he used tetelestai to report it.
What do these meanings say to us? In eternity the Son gave the Father a promissory note that He would pay the price for humanity’s redemption (Heb. 10:5–7). On Calvary the note was paid-in-full. Tetelestai! The Son reported His completed mission to the Father. Tetelestai!